4 Things I Learned This Week

I don’t know about any of you guys, but this World Athletics Championships was the best in ages. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from it really. But for quality, competitiveness, and upsets, it was fantastic. So, I’m going back to my old sport for the first 3 items this week.

1/  If you want to be the best, plan long term, have faith in the plan, stick to it, and be patient.
Watching Sally Pearson we finally saw the fruition of a long term plan. She has been getting better and better every year. Technically she is sublime. head and shoulders above everybody else. That hard work on technique has allowed her to really test that technique with a winter of tough physical preparation to enhance her strength, speed and power. Listening to her interviews, you can tell that she believes in her training programme and that there was a long term plan.  Look for fireworks next year at the Olympics.

2/  You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
 Mo Farrah has been world class for a few years mow, without actually threatening to win anything outside of Europe. If he wanted to beat the Kenyans, he decided he needed to train like them. When he went to Kenya on training camps, he found out that it was their lifestyle that allowed them to train so hard. They had no distractions from their devotion to excellence. But we kind of knew that already, that’s not what impressed me. 
Farrah also changed coaches to Alberto Salazar. This guy leaves no stone unturned. He insisted that Farrah worked on the way he used his arms. He wanted them more tucked in and linear. This way is more aerodynamic and didn’t waste energy on lateral/rotational movement. 

The result? A silver medal in the 10,000 and a gold in the 5,000. Not many coaches would have had the confidence to ask a world class athlete to change a technique that has been so successful. 

3/ Don’t believe the hype
Everyone said that Federer and Nadal were head and shoulders above everyone else.  Djokovic and Murray don’t have enough talent to make the jump. Well Mr Djokovic went away last winter and said pooh to talent. I’m just going to work my backside off on the areas where I fall short. 
BOOM! 3 majors in 1 year. Only 2 losses in all competitions.

First they said you had to be powerfully built with short limbs to be a top sprinter. Then came Usain Bolt. Then they say you have to be black. Well hello  Christophe LaMaitre. That tall skinny white guy just ran sub 10s and 19.8 for 200. He’s 22, only just started to lift weights and looks like a computer nerd. That skinny French kid picked up a medal at the world champs. This is not me being racist, it’s me being sick of people judging athletic ability purely on genetic background. Stuff what they say, if you believe you can, then get out there and prove them all wrong. Whoever THEY are.

4/ You can learn more from failure than success, so embrace it.
I thank my daughter Emily for this one. she got a new scooter for her 3rd birthday last week and is learning how to ride it.

Watching her is a lesson in how to fast track your learning curve. The last thing Emily will ever do is play it safe. It’s frightening to watch as a Dad, but she wants to go down the biggest hill as fast as possible and take the tightest corners at full speed (she’s not really sussed the brake yet). 

In short, she’s pushing the envelope. If she crashes – often – she knows that she went over her limit. But if she’s successful next time, she get a massive buzz. She’s improved. now what if she played it safe and was successful every time. She’d have a lot less bruises, but she doesn’t know if she’s improved or not. But most important of all, she’s missed out on that buzz that makes her hungry for more.

What’s inspired you this week?
Don’t forget to leave your comments at the bottom.

Yours in speed


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